By Lyn Etches
Hi all hopefully computer fixed now, its great to hear of all the activities so many are doing with their vallhunds showing the versatility of our breed.
1st news from Zoe Fithern her Dash, Nlch Hurstfield Renen Dasher at Rusern sucessfully passed Uk level 3, on 100 pts, judge was Marie Poole @Dauntsey. He had been trained for trailing 1 scent, Not to be left out Inga, Hurstfield Chi Goddess at Rusern who is training to be a Lowland Rescue Air Scent dog took part in her 1st 250yds search for anyone, for this she works off lead and searches an area. Wendy Amons Saga, Ch Mystarz Lavish Loitsu to Pepperthyme after returning following her maternity leave has passed her Mantrailing level 1 certificate thanks to Dawn of K9 Lifestyles.
Rosie Peacock Jackson has emailed me the following.
My Swedish Vallhund and I went to a Scentwork UK Level 1 trial on Sunday 25th October. What a great time we had. It was so interesting to meet like minded dog people who were on their Scentwork journey. I was interested to meet different breeds, one being the Norwegian Buhund. Having a spitz breed it is always nice to speak to other spitz owners and agree that they dont work like other breeds. They are very independant and will willingly work on a lesson once or twice but then you get the look "we have done this a couple of times why again". It was great to meet Margaret Deuchar and learn that her Buhund like my Vallhund was a show dog too. We both agreed that it was so important to keep these busy spitz breeds working. My vallhund Trev, Starvon Double Agent at Kirkholme has been doing Scentwork and Mantrailing for just over a year. We had a break for a while because of my illness, (so glad your feeling better now Rosie) but we have managed quite a full programme during this awful year. I would say to anyone thinking of working their dogs to have a go. Most dogs love it and it gets them and you out and about. I have been lucky to have done several scentwork days with 2 great trainers and this has given me and my little dog confidence to work anywhere. Margaret and I passed our level 1 (I believe with 100%) so we look forward to the next step. So have a go. Look up Scentwork UK or Mantrailing UK and read all about it. You will find the people friendly and helpful. Good Luck. Thank you Rosie.
On the 24th October Southampton Canine Club held their limit show with their judge Richard Kinsey (Kitarn ). They had been so thorough and were very strict on admittance to the building all groups had not before times, and had a fab car park/class caller called Adam Hawkins even with rain pouring down he didnt stop smiling he went round the car park calling every class and made sure noone missed their class he was excellant. You entered at one end into the collecting ring then into main ring then out the other end, You could buy nice hot tea/coffee and bacon rolls. The comittee did a great job organising, running and keeping all flowing. Well done Southampton cc. This meant the pups actually took part in the show ring as puppies, something we didnt think would happen. Pastoral was late afternoon and i have to say felt really proud when they entered the ring together with others, as you can imagine we werent sure they would resist playing together but they did there were 8 in the class and to be honest myself, Steve and Jo all agreed as long as they enjoyed themselves we would be happy. Steve and Jos daughters handled Skye and Bear. Anyway they all showed so well moving and standing we were proud. Then came time of judges decision and called Bear 1st, Skye 2nd and Ernie 3rd then the other pups so we were more than happy with that. After a while Gemma had a call the bitch at her house was showing signs of starting her labour so we left after wishing Jo and Amy good luck and asking them to let me know we got home and i left Gemma to her duties (resulting 8 puppies) time i got to my house i had a very happy call Bear, Ohanaway Having a Blast at Mackjama had just been awarded Bpis yay wtg Bear so proud, Congratulations again.
Lynn Pallatina sent me news that Loki, Ch Starvon All Eyes on me at Valltineya handled by her friend Karen, sorry no surname. They took part in 3 covid safe agility competitions where he was clear on his runs 4x 2nd, 3x 3rd and a 5th place.
Domna & Richard Dodd took their girls to Forty Hall Estate met up with Michelle and Howard Olley with Mooney, and Tanya and William Macay with their youngster Loxley and enjoyed a walk together in the grounds so that was enjoyable for all.
Hi as you know I asked for stories of you and your puppies activities inc training during these lockdowns. I’m happy with your responses and what could be better than from a Breeders side to start with, Thanks to Wendy Amon (Perpperthyme).
Lyn has asked puppy owners to write a piece on training during a pandemic, my experience started in having a litter of puppies during a lockdown, so all the normal things I do with my pups went out the window! Never mind you just have to adapt and go with the flow, all I can say is thank the lord for the internet, most potential puppy owners saw their pups and the rest of the pack through Face time at least they saw them awake, as no -one could visit I had to get them to hear and see as many different sights and sounds as I could, so when they were old enough I would pile them into the car and throw them (not literally) over a friends gate so they got to interact with her dogs and the sights and sounds from her garden, the kids next door, passing traffic, they would come home after a few hours mentally exhausted , it also helped with their introduction to travelling. Anyway 1 pup stayed, Pepperthyme a Star is born, aka Bumble, an independent girl just like her grandmother Yira, she is not the easiest to train as she has her own agenda and can’t see the point of most of the things asked of her, we enrolled into puppy foundation classes, a seven week course covering basic obedience, handling and life skills etc. I think the rosette awarded on our last week of the course was for turning up as she was a nightmare every week, our instructor commented she had the concentration span of a gnat, but we got through it and then carried on with the Foundation top up course (I must be a glutton for punishment) I think she did a little better during this course as she did manage some of the exercises, it probably would of helped if we had done more homework! but we were awarded another rosette so something must have gone right. Bumble used to love her time in class as she could watch her sister Ada do everything right, she was fascinated by the other pups doing their training and if she wasn’t watching them she was working out what she could do that wasn’t a sit or down!
As we know, it is important to socialize puppies. Socialization isn’t all about playing with other dogs and saying hello to everyone. It is just as important to teach our puppies to ignore people and dogs around them if not invited to say hello, we were so lucky that we could do this in a controlled class situation. Here in the deep countryside of Suffolk, it can be hard to meet any people or dogs on my local walks (plenty of wildlife) but I am so lucky that Bumble goes to a friend of mine during the day while I am at work and has learnt a lot of her social skills and meets many other dogs, her friend and partner in crime is Malmo the whippet, who does see the world differently to a Vallhund even though she possibly believes she is a Vallhund. Unfortunately we have not been able to attend any ringcraft classes, but with no shows on the horizon it really doesn’t matter, personally I don’t like to do much ring training with a puppy as I believe you can make them stale very quickly, but they do absorb so much when they are young so Bumble has missed out there, she was also booked to start mantrailing but this was cancelled due to the 2nd lockdown, but plenty of time for that. Looking forward to seeing and meeting all the pups born around the time of Bumble, let’s hope 2021 is kinder to us all.
Next from Britt Borlinghaus. My partner Paul and I were very lucky to have been welcomed to the wonderful world of the Swedish Vallhund this year. We had lost both of our elderly Jack Russels and our 4 year old JR Lotti needed a friend. I had wanted a Vallhund ever since I had seen one on holiday in the Lake District in the 90s and we were lucky enough to move to Suffolk a few years ago, near our wonderful breeder Wendy Amon. We were so thrilled that she had a puppy available for us in the spring, our little Ada ,Pepperthyme Star Watching. From all the reading I’ve done it’s clear that she is a very much a typical Vallhund; alert, clever, fun, loving, playful and definitely a herder ( she nips the back of our heels when she’s in a playful mood!) Despite lockdown, we managed to do quite a bit of socializing with neighbors popping round (socially distanced) in funny hats and bicycles etc. We have also been lucky enough to live close enough to Wendy Amon and her friend who looks after her puppy Bumble, to meet up with them and other Vallhunds and a whippet to let them have proper playtime off lead in some large fields. Wendy was also the inspiration for joining a local socially distanced puppy foundation class, where we tried to do our best. Ada always on high alert, while her sister Bumble always seemed much more relaxed. After completing our seven weeks, Ada received her first rosette and we enrolled in the improver class (top up), which we somehow passed as well, despite Ada's vocal excitement every time we arrived for the class. Since Lockdown we’ve done a couple of zoom lessons, which were brilliant ,and we are also hoping to start mantrailing in the future. Ada definitely has a good nose - she’s been sniffing out and harvesting our wild strawberries!
I find that Ada and I are progressing steadily; she’s a fairly fast learner, but is easily bored if training involves much repetition (which it almost inevitably does) She has fitted into our household brilliantly and despite her best efforts to turn the tables, Lotti the Jack is still the boss. We have absolutely fallen in love with this little Vallhund and are thoroughly enjoying the wonderful community spirit that exists in the various social media forums as well as the Swedish Vallhund society. There is always someone helpful available, Wendy Amon, our breeder, top of that list. Thanks Britt always good to hear from new members of our Vally family.
Next is from Tanya Mackay who has an import puppy called Loxley, and he has spent some time in Doggie Daycare.
Our puppy started day-care at around 20 weeks, to try and prevent separation anxiety, because we were working from home in the Lockdown. His first daycare told us they knew his breed and took him for a half day trial. We were told this had gone well, and he could come in for two half days a week due to his age. We filled in some basic paperwork. At around 25 weeks he became unwell with Giardia and Campylobacter .Although Gardia is often caught from dirty puddles, we never saw him drinking from one. Our vet has explained it can be caught from dirty paws and directly from other dogs .So we stopped his attendance, to prevent him passing it to other puppies. Unfortunately ,by the time he tested negative he was unable to return as he was 7 months and not neutered. This is a common policy at day-cares and we struggled to find anywhere to take him. At 8 months a new day-care opened nearby with a trial approach for intact dogs ,to assess how the group responds to them ,and how they behave. We did a half day trial and when we came back were given a 1 hour discussion about how he went. Following this they asked us to do a full 5-day week to get him settled into the space ,at the end of the week they would let us know if he could continue to attend. Each day he improved and became more familiar with the routine. All the staff knew him and his allergies and everyday he was excited to run in and leave us. He was approved to continue and has been going two full days since. His day-care gives him scheduled nap/rest times in a sleep area on his own, a behaviorist visits the center to help the staff better understand the dogs they work with and they give us a 20 minute brief when we pick him up. They have a separate space for puppies and dogs are given short walks several times a day plus a longer park walk. Dogs are matched on play style and energy in the group, and they have a focus on encouraging calm play rather than a boisterous pack mentality. As he has ongoing gastro issues from his illness, they also support us with this, and always update in any changes in his eating /mood/toileting.
Daycare has improved his focus, and his manners around other dogs. He has great dog play skills and is far less dog oriented on walks as he gets plenty of off lead time in a safe monitored environment. All dogs are assessed as he was which has given us confidence that they are all well socialized. They have reinforced training we do at home and given support to set a good routine for him. Day-care has been invaluable for us as owners, but we did notice the difference in quality between the centers and would recommend trialing a few before deciding. We would suggest asking questions about group dynamic, how play is managed how much down time they get and what the walk schedule is along with health policies and enrichment plans .very interesting Thank you.
Briony Williams emailed to say her Tanellis Clementine, aka Hildr, just shy of 7 months, has completed puppy school, and her Bronze level training with The Happy Puppy Company in Hampshire. Hildr is almost finished her Silver, though working on her patience to wait instead of shuffling for treats is proving her greatest challenge. Thank you Briony.
Lynn Pallatina has her sister Tanellis Coral Bellisima, Cora, is busy working on her foundations for her agility and dog sport. Dog sport UK is similar to working trials with obedience scentwork and agility.
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